Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The transition - Yes, they require practise too

After having almost a year off from triathlon racing, I competed in my first race of the season on Sunday, and although the conditions were not ideal, the body felt really good - the training paid off and my performance far exceeded my expectation.

I did, however, fall well short of receiving an A+ when it came to my transitions - they were horrible.

How many times have you hear these words, "My time would have been way better if I had not spent 8 minutes in transition". I have heard them many, many times.

Transitioning is one of those "details" which most triathletes "forget about" until they are in T1
(T 1 - swim to bike transition) and they are fumbling around trying to get out of the wetsuit, get the cycling gear on, recover a little bit from the swim effort and be quick through the process at the same time.

At this point I suddenly remembered why I had so diligently practised my transitioning so many times in the past - time passes very quickly when you are bumbling around your gear set up.

The remedy to this is a fairly simple one: spend a few minutes each week working through your transition. Like anything else, perfect practise make perfect.

Lay out your gear as you would on race day. Go from wetsuit to bike gear and bike gear to run gear - as you would on race day. Develop a sequence which you will remember, and use - every time you race.

On your brick days, lay out your gear in your car, and as you finish your swim, get out of the water, into your bike gear, and onto the bike as fast as you can. The same applies to the transition from the bike to the run.

On race day, follow the routine you practised - to the letter, and see how your time improves with very little additional effort on your part.

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